Monday, July 31, 2006

Parryware Glamourooms: Not Just Bathrooms

Brand : Glamourooms
Company: Parryware Glamourooms
Agency: JWT
Brand Count : 107

Parryware Glamourooms is India's superbrand in the sanitary ware market. This is a brand that redefined the way Indians viewed Bathrooms. A pioneer in branding and an expert in understanding changing trends, Parryware is a brand worth studying.

The Indian Sanitaryware market is estimated to be around 750 crore and in that market the branded wares is estimated to be worth around 360 crores. Parryware have a market share of around 42% (value share).

Parryware is a part of the EID Parrys of Murugappa group . In 2005-06 the company was hived off as a separate entity " Parryware Glamourooms". In 2006 ROCA of Spain took a 50% stake in the company and is set to roll out its international brands in the Indian market.

Parryware endeavored into serious branding this sanitary wares as early as 1983. In 1985 it introduced the Peacock shaped closets branded as Cascade which focused on saving water. Te product was highly successful and became almost generic to the category. In 1990 Parryware added a new word to Indian branding history " Glamourooms".

The launch created a huge wave of excitement in the otherwise a dull product. The purchase of sanitary wares was never a high involvement purchase. Seldom customers used to bother about the brands nor was willing to spent money on the bathrooms.
But Parryware changed all that. It said to the Indian consumers " No more bathrooms only glamourooms". This caused a spurt in the demand for aesthetic bathrooms.

The launch was perfectly timed. Earlier I remember that old houses seldom had Attached bathrooms. Then slowly came the concept of Bedrooms with attached bathrooms. Then came the focus on looking at bathroom more aesthetically as you look at any other rooms.
Parryware was a pioneer not only in branding this market but also an innovator par excellence.
Parryware is credited with innovating the concept of " Stainzfree" bathrooms, Introduce easy to clean surfaces, antimicrobial seat covers, touchfree electronic urinals and bathroom for Physically challenged people. These innovations coupled with some smart campaigns made this brand a market leader.
Parryware is also credited with being the first customer centric Sanitaryware company. It has the first B2C website for customers, customer care centres for helping the customers and for servicing. Parryware also changed the retail format for selling sanitarywares by creating shopping experience for customers through " Experience centres " which are retail outlets which are carefully designed to give customer an experience of the look of their bathrooms with Parryware.
The brand also keep track of the changing minds of the Indian consumer. There is a marked shift in the preference of Indian consumers from Wet bathrooms to a Dry one and Parryware is
ready for that also. With a strategic partner in ROCA, Glamourooms will be concentrating on the luxury and medium segment while ROCA will be concentrating on the Super luxury segment bringing in the International range to Indian market.
In 2005 the brand also ventured into the Rs 1200 Tap market aiming to become a Total Bathroom Solutions provider. The brand is made on the core values of Water conservation, hygiene and Technology.According to a report in Businessline , the customers have given a high rating for this brand on the values such as Relevance, Uniqueness and Reliability
Although the brand pioneered the concept of " Glamourooms" it found that the concept was copied by other players. Hence the brand changed its tagline to " Add Glamour To Your Life".
Then again the brand began to give importance to hygiene and changed its line to " Sparkling Clean Glamourooms ". Now the base line is somewhere between " Everything else can wait" and " Surrender To Temptation".
The shift in the positioning was not warranted ( in my opinion). From 2000 the brand is known for its Glamourooms but sadly their website no longer talks about this very own concept that made the brand. It is confusing whether it is the consumer who was bored by the positioning or is it the agency or is it the client? If its not the consumer , then why change it....
The brand is well poised to tap the future sanitary market in India, but the frequent changes in the positioning will dilute the foundation on which the brand has built its equity
Source : Businessline,, magindia, agencyfaqs , parryware website

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Citizen Watches : Beyond Precision

Brand : Citizen
Company: Citizen
Agency: Hakuhudo Percept
Brand Count : 106
The brand came to India initially with a collaboration with HMT in the late 1960's. Later the brand re- entered India in 1998 as a joint venture between the Japanese Watch maker Citizen and Doshi Time Industries. In mid 2003 Citizen hiked its stake to more than 95%.

During the initial years Citizen failed to understand the Indian consumer correctly. It misread the price-value perception of the ever value- conscious Indian consumer. The watches during the initial years were in the price range of 1600-2500 and 6000-20,000. The company thought that with the brand name, it could sell the watches at any price. That was a huge mistake and the product bombed in the market. The reason was that the discerned Indian consumer show no value in those watches although they were impressed with the brand name. This created lot of issues for the company. In a panic move, in 2000 the company went for a major price cut and that further eroded the brand equity of Citizen.

The Indian watch market is about 30mn units and in that the branded watch market is estimated to be around 12mn units. Most of the action is happening in the mid price category.
Citizen is now trying hard to regain the lost brand equity. The product that they chose to be the white knight was the " Eco Drive". Eco Drive had the technology of producing its own power from light. Hence it does not need a battery. Citizen effectively used this technology to position the brand as a high-tech one . Although the " No need for a battery" is not a highly preferred attribute to a consumer, Citizen used this feature to differentiate itself from the rest.
EcoDrive was positioned as the ultimate tech-watch and was smartly premium priced. Although the " No Battery" was the key differentiator, the product was very well styled and the promotion was effective in projecting the premiumness of the brand.
With EcoDrive, Citizen was able to recapture its brand equity to certain extent. Still the pricing of the watch makes it unreachable to the middle class.
With the regaining of the equity, the brand went into an overdrive with a slew of new product launches. In 2005, the brand roped in Kareena to endorse the ladies range of watches. Citizen believes strongly that Celeb Endorsement works wonders for the brand. Hence following the positive response to Kareena endorsement, in 2006 Citizen roped in Rahul Dravid to endorse its men's range of watches.
With the smart advertising and differentiation , Citizen survived a near death in the Indian market. In this new avatar, the brand with a market share of 15% is going great guns. But it is worth noting that Indian consumers still have to stretch a little too much to own a Citizen.
With the International brands scaling up their plans in India, Citizen may again have to relook on their value proposition.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Gelusil : Ye kam kare to aap kam kare

Brand: Gelusil
Company: Pfizer
Agency: Contract
Brand Count:105
Gelusil is one of the major brands in the 220 crore antacid market in India . A brand once owned by Parke-Davis came into Pfizers hand when the two companies merged. Gelusil was promoted through ethical route where the drugs are to be sold only through prescription. This 30 year old brand had a strong support from the medical community and is worth Rs 20 crore.

In 1999 Gelusil became the first antacid brand to shift from ethical route to OTC. It was a risky move since there was a chance of alienating the medical practitioners and also doubts about the ad spent that is needed to promote such a mass market product.
The antacid market in India is crowded with lot of products fighting for their share of the pie. The market leader is Digene from Abbot Pharma with a market share of 35% followed by Eno from GSK with 24% , Gelusil with 21% and Pudin Hara with 14%. Digene is still sold through the ethical route and are available only at the Chemists. Eno and Pudin Hara are available in all shops since they are ayurvedic products.
Globally antacids are sold as OTC products. The market is expected to grow faster in India because of the " changed" lifestyle of less exercise and more junk foods. Right now in the OTC segment, growth is now taken more by the ayurvedic products rather than products like Gelusil because of the association of " no side effects" with ayurvedic products.
Gelusil faced a setback in 2004 when Pfizer had to recall its liquid form because of odour problem. Gelusil have some issues with its taste as it may not be liked by some of the customers ( including me). For that matter all antacids tastes bad. Since this product is now sold through OTC, the share of mind and share of voice is crucial for maintaining and building market share. The creatives of Gelusil were critically acclaimed with one ad winning at the ABBY's.
With a huge potential for antacids in the future, Gelusil has to get more aggressive to leap from the solid foundation it had created .
Source: Businessline, agencyfaqs, magindia, companywebsite.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Gatorade: Tested In The Lab, Proven On The Field

Brand: Gatorade
Company: Pepsi
Brand Count : 104

Gatorade, the $ 3bn Iconic brand is in India.Launched in 2004 , the brand is keeping a low profile in the Indian market. This global brand is dominating the world's sports drink market for more than 35 years.

The brand came in to existence as a result of a research by the University of Florida. The researchers was trying for a drink to help their football team called the Florida Gators to beat the dehydration. That year the Gators became champions because of this drink.

Gatorade came into Pepsi fold when Pepsi acquired Quaker Oats. This brand have a market share of over 70% in the US market.
The brand had a soft launch in India. One factor is that the market for sports drink is in its nascent stage in our country. While in US and the west, Sports coexist with the studies while in our country it is mutually exclusive.
But reports suggest that Gatorade have users from across ages and is not confined to athletes. With increasing popularity of health and fitness activities, there is a growing market for such drinks. Gatorade is not a product for the mass market since it is a functional benefit led drink catering to a niche ( but a growing niche). The drink is being promoted by a " special sweat team" from Pepsi who will be meeting potential clients at the various " Points of Sweat" like gyms, sports centers etc.

Pepsi has roped in Kaif and Pathan to endorse the brand. Priced reasonably at Rs 45 for 500 ml, this is a brand to watch for.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Skoda: Obsessed With Quality

Brand : Skoda
Company: Skoda Auto
Agency: IB&W
Brand Count : 103
Skoda came to India and conquered. The brand now holds around 25% of the luxury car market in India. That too without much advertising. This is a classic case of Slow Skimming in marketing theory. The brand also proves that good products sells itself.

Skoda came to India in 2001. A Czech brand owned by Volkswagen, the launch of Skoda was a low profile one. It would not be an exaggeration to say that no body knew about this brand being launched in India. The only source was the news items and the auto reviews.

Soon, people seem to be noticing a beautiful sturdy car that bear a logo that was not seen before. The brand slowly began gain popularity and that too through word of mouth. The brand is known for its ruggedness and high value and quality. No wonder Indian consumers took this brand to their hearts. The first brand from the Skoda stable was Octavia in the C-class category. In 2004, Skoda launched its flagship brand Superb which is a luxury sedan that is to compete with Mercedes Benz.
The company baseline say about their "obsession with quality" and Skoda customers will vouch for that. Built with care, this car is known for its comfort and surprisingly " Mileage". This has greatly boosted the popularity of this brand since the value for money proposition was too good to resist.
The company follows it strategy of being Measured, steady and Understated. And time has proved that this equation has worked in India. The brand tried to create some noise by advertising but the brand is selling for itself. One of the ad was intended to create some controversy but it did not. However with or without these campaigns, the brand was bought by the TG.
When the Skoda says that " We make cars that last for ever" , I believe that they really mean it.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Dove : The Mildest One

Brand : Dove
Company: HLL
Agency: O&M
Brand Count: 102
Dove is a $2 bn brand waiting to spread its wings in the Indian Premium soap market. Dove was globally launched in 1957. This brand came to India in 1995. Internationally this brand has a cult status and is a major player in the global premium soap market.

The brand is positioned as the Mildest Soap. Dove is PH neutral and this makes the soap soft on all kind of skin types. Internationally this brand is positioned as a brand that celebrates the " Real Beauty" . Dove defines real beauty as " beauty is not about how you look but about how you feel". The Dove's official site "" highlights this brand value. I think this is one of the best brand values a beauty product can have.

In India, the brand did not had the success of its global counterpart. One reasons are the small " Premium " market and another is the price barrier. Dove's initial price was around Rs50 that put off even the premium customers.

The brand has undergone some repositioning in recent times. Earlier the brand was positioned on the platform of " Trial for Results" idea. Later it was changed to the moisturizing platform.
The brand is claiming that it is milder than the 25 leading soaps thus proving its legitimacy to being the mildest soap in the country. Globally also this brand is positioned not as a soap but a cream bar.

Although the "Campaign For Real Beauty" and the mildness are excellent selling points, the brand is still not able to catch the fancy of Indian beauties. With lot of sales promotions happening with the brand like 1+1 free , there is a possibility of brand value erosion.With the brand now priced at Rs 28, the price has somewhat become reasonable.
I feel that still the brand does not fit into the " value for money" proposition for the Indian consumer. It is a truth that Indian consumer looks for " Value " even in premium products. Dove have a negative point in that the soap usually does not last enough ( partly because of our bathroom habits). This have reduced the value proposition for this brand.
With the emergence of an attractive market in the premium cosmetic market in India, Dove have lot of potential to become a key player, it has got the positioning right, now it has to set the " Value" right for the Indian consumer.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Taj Mahal Tea : Wah Taj

Brand : Brooke Bond Taj Mahal
Company: HLL
Agency: O&M
Brand Count : 101
TajMahal tea is the market leader in the 15,000,000 Kg Indian Premium leaf tea market. This 40 year old brand is constantly evolving to the changing times. The brand which is estimated to be worth Rs 200 crore, so far had a consistent promotional strategy which placed itself in the top league. But with the competition catching up in the form of Tata Tetley and the fear of young consumers moving away from the brand is causing a concern to the brand owners. The brand has already undergone 4 makeovers.

This July saw the relaunch of Taj with a new baseline and world class packaging. The new makeover comes after a change in the communication strategy in 2002-03 . Tajmahal tea was positioned by HLL as the best tea. This " hazaron me ek" tea was promoted using the baseline " Wah Taj " and endorsed by the tabla maestro Ustad Zakeer Hussain.
The brand was consistent in using the same promotional strategy and the baseline. But in 2003 the much popular baseline was changed to " Sabse Khas Taj Ehsas" from the famous and simple " Wah Taj". 2006 saw the brand going back to the same famous positioning " Wah Wah Taj" with an additional "Wah".
HLL is cautious about the brand because Tata Tea has serious plans to capture a major chunk of the premium tea market. Taj cannot rest in its laurels. The problem with highly successful brands are that over a time , the brand fails to understand the changing demographics of the customer. So after some years, the brand will surprisingly find itself redundant. It happened with old favorites like Chetak and Iodex. HLL is careful that it does not happen to Taj.
The brand still uses the same brand ambassador and is concentrating more on North India (I suppose because it is long time since I saw an ad of Taj while the Tata Tea brand ' Kannan Devan" is having higher "share of voice " in South India esp. Kerala. )
I feel that Taj Mahal tea need some more " share of voice". Some times I feel that if Bachchan says "Wah Taj" it creates more impact at this point of time, although Big B endorses anything from underwear to paints.
This brand is with India's best marketing minds :the HLL, they know better isn't it?
Wah Taj..

Friday, July 07, 2006

Monte Carlo : The Way You Make Me Feel

Brand : Monte Carlo
Company: Oswal woolen Mills
Agency: JWT
Brand Count : 100

MonteCarlo is a premium knit wear brand in India. Launched in 1984, this brand is dominating the Mass + Class segment winter cloth market. Oswal has around 50% market share in this segment. With the booming retail sector driving the growth of Readymade clothing in India (estimated to be to the tune of Rs40 bn) no one can resist extending their brand to readymades. That is exactly what MonteCarlo is doing now.

MonteCarlo ( which is a super brand) has similarity with Color Plus (discussed in previous blog) in that it created a market for itself in a category that was dominated by lesser known brands. Monte Carlo was careful in brand building and the ads were catchy and theme oriented. Since I am in South India where there is little market for woolen clothes, still the ads shown in national channels used to excite me. The ads were full of "feel good" factors with great models and excellent imagery. All the ads had Romance and two people discovering a relationship. The print ads were like that of " ColorPlus" gave a premium touch to the brand. It is said that most of the earlier models of this brand are now superstars including Mallika Sherawat, Arjun Rampal to name a few. Monte Carlo is promoted with the baseline " The Way You Make Me Feel". The catchy point of the TVC s is the music which always set the tone for the message. The brand
is still communicated along the same themes since two decades.
The company spent lot of effort in making sure that the premiumness is not lost in campaigns. This is going to pay rich dividend when the brand is getting into the competitive world of every day wear.
The brand was extended to T shirts in 1999 with the brand Summerz. In 2001, the brand forayed into everday wear market under the sub brands Wonderhugs and Trouserz and introduced ladies wear in 2003. This year saw the national launch of cotton wears from Monte Carlo. The company was carefully ramping up the distribution and retail strategies to ensure that this brand succeed. The price range of readymades is in line with the premium brands like Van Heusan and Louis Philippe. So Monte Carlo can expect some serious competition.
With the kind of success this brand had in the winter wear market, it is reasonable to believe that Monte Carlo has the potential to be a " Color Plus". Hope that the brand will be built along the same themes that made it successful.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Eveready : Give Me Red

Brand : Eveready
Company: Eveready Industries Ltd
Agency: Rediffusion
Brand Count : 99

Eveready is a market leader in the 1500 crore drycell market in India. At present this brand holds around 47 % market share. Nippo follows with a market share of 28%. Eveready was one of the first brands in this segment. A flagship brand of BM Khaitan group, this brand is bracing for a marketing war against its competitors.The brand has a history dated as way back as 1934.
The brand is carefully nurtured by the company. Lots of money is being spent on brand building in a seemingly low involvement product category.
During the early ninties the brand created ripples in the market by its " Give me Red" campaign. The campaign changed the way batteries are perceived and the campaign was a hit among the target audience. The ad highlighted the color "Red" and for the next 16 years " red" was the central point in the brand campaign. The Give me Red campaign gave an instant recognition for the brand among the TG which was young 15-25. The rationale was the popularity of walkmans and portable music players which created a new market for batteries.
Buoyed by the success of the campaign and wanting to create more punch to the brand, Eveready roped in Amitabh Bachchan to endorse the brand. It was a costly affair and from then on the " Give Me Red" campaign got diluted. BigB and the campaign did not gel together. While the campaign was aimed at younger crowd, B was a misfit. Again should you need a celebrity to endorse a battery is another question altogether.( company says that Big B campaign raised the market share from 41% to 47% since 2003).
Now another campaign was kicked off by Eveready changing the positioning of the brand. While " Give me red" positioned the brand as an energetic and sturdy brand, the new campaign aims to look at more features rather than image. The new positioning strategy is to highlight the EMD( Electromagnesium) factor which will make the battery last more and give a good 15% more performance than its competitors.
The current campaign is full of hyperbole with Amitabh again as a shopkeeper. The ad seems like a parody of the successful Cadbury's " Pappu Pass Ho gaya" campaign (which had some novelty around it). The Eveready campaign yet again failed to utilize the charisma of Amitabh. The product may sell more because of the features not the campaign.
The company also changed its base line to " Kutch to hai Extra" from the highly successful " give me red". The only reason can be that the company officials and ad agency is bored by the baseline not because the customer has rejected the baseline. "Kutch to hai Extra " is actually diluting the intended positioning on the features. The new baseline have striking resemblance with Maggi Ketchup's baseline " Its different" where there is no difference as such. Kutch to hai extra loses significance because the ad is a hyperbole with no tangible benefits shown. So there is a risk that customer will not believe that there is some thing extra in Eveready.
All said and done, Eveready is having a major say in the market with its established brand and virtually no serious competition. But with the disruptive innovations like iPod and Mp3 players that do not need conventional batteries, Eveready should be alert to the changing market dynamics and a possibility of disruption. Already signs are their in the form of Mobile phones used as a walkman where the battery used is not the conventional one.
For now its " Give Me Red"

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Nutan Stove :Brand with a difference

Brand : Nutan
Company: Indian Oil Corporation
Brand Count : 98

Nutan is a major brand in the Kerosene stove market in India. Nutan was a part of an energy revolution in India. The brand was launched in 1977. Developed by CSIR with funding and marketing support for IOC, this brand was a rage in Indian households during the 70's.

Now also the older generation will vouch for this brand. During the 70's the stove market was dominated by inefficient wick stoves which wasted fuel in soot or smoke. Nutan, developed by CSIR was a sootless stove that saved more than 20% fuel, less smoke producing and more efficient. It soon became the darling of households.

The production of Nutan was outsourced with IOC looking at the marketing of this brand as a part of their Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. Since the product is made as per ISI standards and the quality pegged high, the price is put at a premium over the other brands .

Nutan is in the midst of another revolution. 1990's saw the rise of LPG as the better fuel for households. Indian middleclass shifted to Gas stoves in no time. Further LPG eliminated many negatives that Kerosene stoves had especially on ease of use. With the rising kerosene prices and availability of low priced stoves has now impacted the sale of Nutan stoves ( it is a guess, I don't have market share figures).

I am not sure whether Nutan has a LPG stove, but this brand is slowly vanishing from Indian middle class consumer's mind. It is sad to see an ubiquitous brand slowly losing its relevance. My view is that Nutan had huge potential in the LPG stove market which is valued at Rs 9 Billion is dominated by like Butterfly and a host of unbranded players, it was an opportunity missed by Nutan.

Since Nutan is not a serious brand for IOC, may be no one was thinking about this brand.

If that brand was with a marketer, it would have realized its full potential.... Any one listening?

Monday, July 03, 2006

Tata Ace : Small is Big

Brand : Ace
Company: Tata Motors
Brand Count : 97

TATA Ace is the classic case of marketing success in India. What ever factors that Kotler have spoken about to successfully launch a new product, it is there in this product. Ace is Tata's answer to the marketing myopia of three wheelers.
Ace is a .75 ton truck in the commercial vehicle segment which is dominated by large trucks. It can be called India's first mini truck . Launched in May 2005, Ace has become a blockbuster and is expected to create a huge dent in the three wheeler goods carrier market.

Till the launch of Ace, the sub one ton loads were transported by the three wheeler goods carriers. Although the quality and performance of these three wheelers are less than desirable there was still huge demand for these vehicles. It is this market that Ace is trying to capture. It is the transportation at the " last mile" market that Ace has captured.
Ace had all the qualities of a winner. It is cute, the engine is good interms of mileage and performance, the comfort factor is very much there and more over it is a Truck and not an Auto. Priced competitively at 2.25 lakh to 2.40 lakh, Ace is a value proposition that no one can refuse.The brand was launched at a point where there was a need for transportation of good speedily and conveniently and in a cost effective manner.
The target segment are those who want to upgrade from these three wheelers. The brand Ace has its own limitations. Hence Tata was careful not to overhype the product so that it will "under promise " and " over deliver".
Although the product took around Rs180 crores to develop, the brand is giving rich returns for Tata Motors. The company is working overtime to deliver the orders and is looking for expansion of production of Ace. Even Ace is looking at overseas and is exporting to Srilanka and Bangladesh.
The success of Ace has opened up a new category in the commercial vehicle market. It is reported that Ace had already captured 65% of the small commercial vehicle segment and is expected to contribute an additional turnover of Rs 2500 crore.It is again a sign that Tata Motors have identified the DNA for marketing success in Indian market.
Tata Ace : Small is really BIG......